13 emerging startups solving the last mile problems

CIIE in partnership with Village Capital and with support from The Rockefeller Foundation has launched ‘The Last Mile Access Accelerator’ to help scale innovative enterprises which are increasing access to under-served populations.

Over 200 enterprises from energy, healthcare, waste management, sanitation, agriculture and distribution sectors applied to be part of this program. With the focus on agriculture and distribution, 35 companies solving the last mile problems were shortlisted. They were then checked on collaboration possibilities among different companies. For example, healthcare and rural data company can work together and benefit from each other.


They were then evaluated on their stage of development, team, value proposition, scalability and impact potential. The final short-listed enterprises for the program are as follows:

  1. Blackmelon Advance Technology Company  works to channel e-waste using an innovative and economically viable collection model, followed by environmentally friendly recycling.
  2. Bodhi Health Education leverages low cost mobile technology coupled with eLearning to create scalable, high quality training solutions for BoP health workers.
  3. Hi-7Agri Bio-solutions manufacture and sell crop specific, foliar spray micronutrients that increase the yield and quality of farmer crops.
  4. Karabi Software simplifies critical processes for data capture in real time, enabling organizations to make informed decisions.
  5. KrishiStar works to lift small farmers out of poverty by creating a food brand that represents them; setting up a farmer-owned food manufacturing capacity to supply this brand.
  6. MicroX Labs develop lab-on-a-chip based miniaturized point-of-care medical diagnostic devices, currently focusing on Complete Blood Count (CBC) chips in order to provide affordable, accessible and quality diagnostic solutions.
  7. Parvata Foods aim to ameliorate the living conditions of local farmers by building a value chain of organic produce in Sikkim.
  8. Pulse Savings is a mobile-based commitment savings tool that enables the poor to save money when and where they shop.
  9. Rural Spark Energy India is growing the next energy network. Rural Spark’s service is smartly distributed, viable and sustainable;facilitating and empowering people and local systems to emerge.
  10. Sickle Innovations develop and design farm mechanization solutions for small farmers.
  11. Suma Agro works toward revitalizing the physical, chemical, and biological processes that are essential for sustainable agriculture production.
  12. Uber Diagnostics provides affordable healthcare diagnostics through mobile application and data analytics.
  13. Urjas Energy Solutions  is a cleantech company focused on biomass to energy and solar applications.

The program emphasizes on peer mentoring and peer-selection of the best ventures within the cohort. The two top-ranked start-ups will receive Rs 30 lakh each in investment funding.

The program commenced at CIBA, Goa on May 21st and will have two additional five-day workshops in July and August at CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad.

Brittney Riley from Village Capital shared, “The goal of these workshops is to help the companies view their companies and others through the investor’s eye.”

First workshop will focus on the business models, financial aspects, hypothesis testing and valuations. Mentors will deep dive with each company for a couple of hours. Collaboration among companies will add value via constructive feedback.

Second workshop will focus on the customer part. It includes identifying and brining the right customers to the company. There will be sessions on managing the buyer & customers relations as well. Third and final workshop will be investor focused where companies will work on their pitches with investors and understand their psyche.

At the end of the program, participants will have an opportunity to pitch to both leading Indian and International investors for additional funding.



About the author

Alok Soni is the data guy at YourStory and prefers to keep his bio short owing to a dearth of creativity. Feel free to reach out to him at alok[at]yourstory[dot]com

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